When Seton Home Study School was established in 1980, its first objective was to provide a Catholic and academically excellent education to families who had neither proximity to nor means of paying for a good Catholic school education.
Its second objective was to influence the American bishops to resist the secularization of diocesan schools. Along with small parent-operated schools and other homeschooling programs, Seton established an alternative to the increasingly troubled educational scene, providing a firm footing for quality academic training in general, and Catholic formation in particular.
Though the educational establishment in America only increases in hostility to our mission, Seton Home Study School maintains greater hope than ever for the future of Catholicism in America because Seton graduates are going out into the world with rock solid faith, strong family values, and an excellent education, bearing witness to the Truth in an otherwise relativistic and materialist society.
In a very special and particular way, the many Seton alumni who have gone on to a religious vocation are working to keep the Church alive from the inside out.
It’s only recently that Seton has begun to keep track of alumni and student achievements, but since 2000, we know that at least 6 alumni have been ordained to the priesthood, 9 more have joined the seminary, 5 young women have become professed nuns, and at least 4 other alumni have entered the novitiate at a monastery or convent.
Asked to describe her reaction to the latest religious vocations from Seton Home Study School, Dr. Mary Kay Clark noted that while Seton can’t take credit for God’s work, she does believe that Seton provides a culture and an environment that makes it easier to hear the call.
By helping parents teach their children at home, Dr. Clark says that Seton is helping “provide an environment that is safe and that protects a prayer life, encourages attendance at Mass, and fosters Catholic life in the family home,” without which it is very difficult to hear God’s call to a religious vocation.
When Seton staff hear about alumni going on to religious vocations, there is rejoicing.
The reason Seton is here is because “we believe we can help families raise their children in the faith.” Our work is “missionary work,” as Dr. Clark puts it, and religious vocations provide a taste of the fruits of our labors. It is a gift to be able to partner with families and with parents in the journey to Heaven, and a religious vocation provides unique reassurance that our work has not been in vain.
Of course, it is important to recognize the marriages that have been built between Seton alumni, of which there are many, and the even greater numbers of marriages that involve at least one Seton graduate. The crisis of family in today’s world can only be overcome by the witness of strong, faithful, Christian marriage.
It is our firm belief that the paradigm of homeschooling, in which children have the opportunity to witness the graces and blessings of the marriage sacrament on a continual basis, provides the firmest possible foundation upon which to build future flourishing relationships. Children in these circumstances observe and participate in the relationships of their parents through every part of every day, and they see the example of commitment, prayer-based problem solving, charity, and hard work that leads to happiness and success in the marriage vocation.
Thank you to the parents whose courage in homeschooling has blessed America’s future with reason for hope. May God be praised for His continual blessings, and the graces He gives to new generations!
Nun Photo CC Alateia Image Department